WSU Extension

Hortsense

Weeds : Ground ivy : Glechoma hederacea
(revision date: 4/7/2021)

Family: Lamiaceae
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful weed management.

Biology
Ground ivy is an aromatic evergreen creeper of the mint family. The leaf produces an aroma when crushed. It may become weedy and invasive in some regions or habitats. It is toxic to horses. The leaves are edible by humans. Glechoma hederacea can be identified by its half to 1 ½ inch long and wide green leaves with scalloped edges, round to kidney-shaped with heart-shaped leaves at the base. The leaves are opposite on long petioles attached to square stems which root at the nodes. Hairs are present on the leaves. The plant spreads either by stolon or seed. It is a variable species. During the hot summer months, it has a tendency to become dormant. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, funnel shaped, blue or bluish-violet to lavender, and grow in opposite clusters of two or three flowers in the leaf axils on the upper part of the stem or near the tip. It usually flowers in the spring.
Habitat
Glechoma hederacea is native to Europe and Asia. It is a common plant in grasslands and wooded areas or wasteland, growing in many different soil types. Glechoma thrives in moist shaded areas, lawns, and around buildings, but also tolerates sun very well.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Physical control, by hand-pulling or raking the plants, only if all stolon fragments are removed.
  • Dispose of plants in such a way that they cannot re-root.
  • Improve soil drainage or water less frequently to dry the soil.
  • Prune trees to open the canopy and increase light levels.
  • For lawns, make sure to grow the most suitable type of turfgrass for the location.
  • Mow the lawn regularly to a height of two to three and one-half inches, fertilize and water appropriately, and overseed in the fall.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Herbicides are relied upon, despite their drawbacks. Herbicides containing triclopyr are used to control Glechoma and can be found in many homeowner lawn care products, often in combination with other active ingredients such as dicamba, 2,4-D, and or MCPP. Products containing 2,4-DP can also provide adequate control. Only use products with these active ingredients in the sites listed below and only if turf or lawn is on the product label. In lawn areas with an extensive infestation, it may be easier to use a broad-spectrum herbicide (e.g., glyphosate) to kill all of the vegetation in the area and then reseed the lawn. Read the labels carefully for safety and to make sure the product is suitable for your situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing triclopyr
Turf areas
  • triclopyr
  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
Bare ground areas
  • triclopyr
  • glyphosate
Images
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

 
Caption: Ground Ivy
Photo by: Mike Dickison 4.0/deed.en